BidaskClub lowered shares of Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

A number of other analysts also recently commented on AZN. HSBC Holdings plc downgraded shares of Astrazeneca PLC from a hold rating to a reduce rating in a research report on Friday, April 7th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a hold rating on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a research report on Monday, April 10th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded shares of Astrazeneca PLC from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, May 12th. Leerink Swann restated an outperform rating and set a $36.00 price target (up from $33.00) on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a research report on Wednesday, May 17th. Finally, Barclays PLC restated an overweight rating on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a research report on Monday, July 3rd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $33.39.

Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) opened at 30.06 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $76.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.72 and a beta of 0.74. Astrazeneca PLC has a 12 month low of $25.55 and a 12 month high of $35.60. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $33.57 and its 200 day moving average is $31.37.

Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.87 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.41 by $0.46. Astrazeneca PLC had a net margin of 17.80% and a return on equity of 35.90%. The company had revenue of $5.05 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.04 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.83 EPS. Astrazeneca PLC’s revenue was down 9.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Astrazeneca PLC will post $1.85 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a None dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 11th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 11th will be given a $0.44 dividend. This represents a dividend yield of 2.98%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 9th. Astrazeneca PLC’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 44.92%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Bank of America Corp DE increased its position in Astrazeneca PLC by 29.5% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 45,744,976 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,424,498,000 after buying an additional 10,414,969 shares during the period. Fisher Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of Astrazeneca PLC by 476.9% in the second quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 11,081,856 shares of the company’s stock worth $377,780,000 after buying an additional 9,160,764 shares during the last quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA increased its position in shares of Astrazeneca PLC by 32.1% in the first quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA now owns 34,310,950 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,068,443,000 after buying an additional 8,330,675 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Astrazeneca PLC by 287,844.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,910,657 shares of the company’s stock worth $215,198,000 after buying an additional 6,908,257 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wellington Management Group LLP increased its position in shares of Astrazeneca PLC by 7.9% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 63,250,780 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,969,630,000 after buying an additional 4,605,694 shares during the last quarter. 14.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Astrazeneca PLC

AstraZeneca PLC (AstraZeneca) is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company focuses on discovery and development of products, which are then manufactured, marketed and sold. The Company focuses on three main therapy areas: Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease (CVMD) and Respiratory, while selectively pursuing therapies in Autoimmunity, Infection and Neuroscience.

Analyst Recommendations for Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN)

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